The Rainbow Wheel Of Death

Dougie Poole

Wharf Cat Records, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Although Dougie Poole might be a country songwriter at heart, the Brooklyn indie-rock scene has influenced his musical vision, and this third solo album showcases his eloquent baritone pipes and live-in-the-studio uses of drum machines, acoustic guitars and synthesizers.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track wisely occupies the leadoff spot, where a cosmic country approach is a bit jangly, plenty warm and shuffles with a very dance floor friendly delivery. “High School Gym” then follows, and focuses more on the firm drumming amid the hazy climate that suits Poole's gentle, melodic singing.

In the middle, “Nothing On This Earth Can Make Me Smile” involves meticulous acoustic guitar and intimate singing to complement the folk tendencies, while “Worried Man Blues” welcomes some honky tonk spirit to the precisely layered storytelling that's got some grit behind it, too.

Moving into the back half of the listen, “Lived My Whole Life Last Night” is particularly stirring, and superbly meshes aching pedal steel with Poole’s poetic singing, but it’s the sublime strumming and agile drums of “Must Be In Here Somewhere” that will make you an unwavering fan.

The final track, “I Hope My Baby Comes Home Soon,” leaves us with emotive harmonica and a sweeping sadness that’s dreamy in a longing, despondent sort of way.

A truly unique take on classic country ideas, Poole's stylish, heartfelt and modern formula that embraces lo-fi moments, pop music nods and outlaw country puts him in a category all his own.

Even if you don’t like country music I'd be surprised if you're not enamored with these nine tracks, and if you do, we'll this just might be your new favorite voice. Either way, as long as there are stories to tell, something tells me that Poole’s going to relay them, and I’ll definitely be listening.

Rating: A-

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© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wharf Cat Records, and is used for informational purposes only.